For a team with money to spend, I’m more inclined to look at fit and potential than at finances.
So if the Indianapolis Colts have Ricky Jean Francois lined up to be a starting defensive end in their 3-4 front for four-years at $22 million, I lean toward excitement about his potential to produce in a bigger roll than toward worry about the price tag.
While we don’t know about the contract's guarantees or structure, we do know that Jean Francois is highly regarded by evaluators and served as a key piece, though a role player, for the 49ers NFC Championship defense.
Adam Caplan of Sirius/XM had those contract details and really likes the player if not the contract.
“Reason why as many as 10 teams were on him earlier this week: Only DL capable of starting at all 3 positions on 3-man DL,” Caplan tweeted.
Scouts Inc. says this:
“He has a quick first step and does a good job of using his hands to defeat and shed blockers but can struggle trying to hold up at the point of attack. He does a good job of keeping his pads down to leverage blockers but lacks the overall strength to plug up the middle. He is more effective when asked to shoot gaps and try to penetrate to create problems in the backfield. Although he lacks the explosive upfield acceleration to be a pass-rusher, he will keep his feet active as he works his way to the pocket. He is quick to locate the level of the ball and takes good angles to get there.”
I’m sure the Colts expect to help him get stronger and to help put him in situations where, playing between a nose like Brandon McKinney or Josh Chapman and an outside linebacker like Erik Walden, he can make the most of his skills.